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Andrew Swift

Licensed REAA 2008

Swift Real Estate Solutions

Selling uninsured homes in Canterbury

“As Is, Still Is”

There is no doubt that the trading of uninsured property has become a prominent part of the Canterbury real estate market. Not surprisingly the majority of these transactions are for residential dwellings which have become damaged in the sequence of earthquakes since 2010, and which have been deemed uneconomic to repair. Immediately following the quakes there were a limited number of opportunities to purchase uninsured properties which were essentially undamaged, and were brought to the market at the instigation of lenders scrambling to release their security exposure where home owners had allowed insurance policies to lapse – that market has been and gone. Today’s uninsured property market is characterised by homes which sustained significant damage, and where the owner has elected to move on rather than rebuild or repair; or where the insurer has ‘cash settled’ the damage without offering or encouraging other options, and the property owner is seeking to realise the value in the residual on an uninsured ‘as is’ basis.

The demand for these properties is strong and the buyer profile varied. Tradespeople looking to capitalise on their skill set and turn effort into profit are snapping up those properties where the buildings are ripe for remediation and there is the prospect of reinsuring to increase equity.

Investors see the potential in market rental for a reduced capital outlay and therefore a high rate of return albeit with the risk associated with no, or limited insurance. The latest and probably most prolific entrants to the uninsured market are everyday folk who are not too risk averse using equity in existing security to purchase property for other family members – often their young adult children struggling to climb onto the property ladder with 20% LVR deposits required.

The buoyancy in the ‘as is’ property market fuelled by steady supply and high demand has, as expected, seen many agencies and individuals jump onto the bandwagon to get a slice of the action. Unfortunately it is becoming evident that while well-intentioned, not all of these service providers have the requisite skills and resources to both maximise the benefits and offer acceptable levels of protection to those they represent. At Harcourts Gold we take our role in looking after our customers and clients extremely seriously. Our Eastside offices at Parklands and New Brighton pioneered the marketing and selling of these properties and have recognised industry expertise in facilitating sales of uninsured ‘as is’ homes. Our skilled consultants are often called upon for advice, our database of prospective purchasers is extensive, and we have formed strong alliances with other property professionals able to provide the reports that will maximise your returns. To date our team have transacted in excess of 200 sales and the ‘as is, where is’ market currently represents 44% of our total residential sales volume. The prices we achieve consistently exceed owner’s expectations by a significant amount.

There are other options, but experience and results take a lot of beating. If you are contemplating whether this is the right course of action for you, or you just want to explore your options a little further with no commitment or obligation then call me today. I will be delighted to meet with you and guide you through your decision-making.

Andrew Swift is an experienced sales consultant and business owner operating predominantly in some of the most EQ damaged neighbourhoods in Christchurch.

View an analysis of the uninsured properties that we have sold through our office:
Analysis of Uninsured Properties 2015-2016

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